The Quake Thread: Slipspace Shenanigans

Why Quake, and Why Now?

I wanted to treat myself to a new game. I had also been playing a lot of newer FPSes and felt like I wanted a “back to basics” game that didn't have evolving metas, constantly changing weapon balance, and lots of novel player abilities/mechanics. But also: I think the stupid/great memes that kinofabino and fpscarol post that are total nonsense had also gotten me wanting to try quake.

I noticed that the quake pack, which is All Of Quake (sans Quake 4 for some reason), for a reasonable price. So I thought I should treat myself to Quake. In addition to the memes, there has been a resurgence in popularity of game makers enjoying older FPSes and creating newer FPSes in the style of old, and the term for them has been "Boomer Shooters" (despite the games being Gen X era). But honestly _in my heart_ the "Boom" in "Boomer Shooter" stands for the boom a rocket launcher makes.

After a few rough starts (mouselook isn't on by default! Quake actually looks really dark!) I ended up playing through all of Quake 1, and then the mission packs, before starting to dive into community made map packs. Not only did this provide a near-endless supply of very good FPS levels to explore and playthrough, but also a great way for me to re-appreciate the FPS genre as a whole.

**_How to enjoy Quake (from my post in the "How to Enjoy..." thread)_**


0) Get a good playlist of heavy metal music


1) Buy the Quake Complete pack on steam

> 2) Download the source port “QuakeSpasm

> 3) Download the quake soundtrack files and get them working with the steam version (I haven’t done this)

> 3.5) There’s a program called “Simple Quake Launcher” which lets you choose which version/map to launch into, with whichever source port you prefer, which has been very handy for me

> 4) When you’ve finished with Quake 1 and (optionally) both single player map packs, get Quake Injector, which lets you basically browse and download nearly every Quake single player map pack ever made. (this is next on my list)

> 5) Once you finish this, download Trenchbroom and start making your own levels (this is what I will be doing, hopefully, soonish)

**_What's it like playing Quake in 2021?_**
I think my immediate reaction was that it's good to go back to basics. I was really engaged by the first episode's level design and the crunchiness of the software rendering. I swapped back and fourth between Quake and QuakeGL wanting to (I guess) experience Quake as it was when released, or as close as possible. What I was struck by is because there's so little going on, relative to other FPSes, that it really let me focus on the gameplay elements that are present. For instance: I had to mentally remember where health packs and ammo were because I'd take damage later in a level, and wanted to heal back up. In other levels, I'd have to be careful when I'd pick up and use certain weapons because ammo distribution really dictates what weapons are used where. I'd also have to make an active effort to remember to save, and sometimes this would result in me losing a bunch of progress, or making a save after clearing each individual room, just to be safe.

Enemy placement and the attacks they use really allow level designers to create a lot of different encounters, and most of that is due to Our Friend the Ogre, who has a long range deadly but avoidable bouncing grenade, and a short range chainsaw attack. Quake has zombies, but, you can't eliminate them unless you use explosives (they also start lying down, and this is used to great affect in some levels where they're spawned under waist high water and are hidden until the player finds them). I find a lot of these subtle things are easier to spot because there's less happening in quake than there would be in a modern FPS campaign.

Then, there's our friend the shambler. Probably the only enemy in an FPS game I have any respect for. His long range attack is a lightning beam that kills you in about 3 hits, and it _never misses_ . His short range attack are huge claws. He also moves _really fast_ and so any time you encounter a Shambler, usually, it becomes a very frantic event. I always save after encountering a shambler.

Overall I'd say as Quake's levels went on they had an uneven character. I can tell a Sandy Peterson made level from a John Romero made level, generally. I can also tell that they kind of slapped it together a little at the end (what game isn't like that?) and so some levels have a starkness to them that contrasts with the official map packs. The map quality in the mission packs _Scrounge of Amagaron_ and _Dissolution of Eternity_ are also kind of over the place, but you can tell there's a jump in detail and they start to have fun with making sequences and level layouts.

Quake 1 ends with kind of a joke boss level, and the level itself is kind of poorly laid out (especially compared to the other ones). In fact, most of the bosses in Quake are kind of badly made! But that's fine! Quake is really at it's best when the level designer understands what makes an encounter good or bad. Levels with multiple routes and secrets. Good BSP work. Enough enemies to be a threat but not unfairly overwhelming. This really reset my expectations for the FPS genre and so I came away with a better appreciation of it. Once that was done, I started to branch out a bit more with more Quake Content(tm)

_Scrounge of Amagaron_
"What if quake but we added space lasers, and robot scorpions" is this first official map pack. I didn't enjoy it at first because the first five levels are all Space Marine enemies. I also almost skipped the rest of it because I got really stuck in an early level. It does some interesting things in later levels, like simulate a collapsing mine. It also ends in a hilarious bossfight.

_Dissolution of Eternity_
This is the second official map pack and is a lot more interesting because the levels follow roughly 4 themes (Sci fi industrial, Egyptian, Mayan, Altantis) and try to incorporate that theme's architecture into the levels. New enemies include this jumping monkey thing and a floating demon who looks like they want a hug but actually are throwing fireballs at you. The bsp work is also pretty cute. Underground skull fortresses! There's a few surprise new enemies too.


The final level has you blowing up this huge claw thing, and you can really start to see the start for where Half Life would take the Genre

_Arcane Dimensions_
Arcane Dimensions is a fan made map pack that is highly regarded and recently released it's final form. Really a huge trip going from 90's level design to modern level design. After playing so much of Quake you really notice the differences and tweaks that the team made to this map pack. Combat spaces are built around the game of strafe shooting and crowd control and with escalating waves spawning in. There's new weapons that work really well. Also, the melee weapon (an axe) actually is a viable close range weapon and not a total joke (like in Quake). All the BSP work is *really good* and each room that I've found has a lot of detail. I have only tried 2 levels, but from what I've seen it's very well put together.


_Quake Community map packs and beyond_
Quake Injector is really good not just because you can browse by release and author, but it also grabs dependent mods you'd need to get something to work. I wanted to play a level by radiatoryang that was in a map pack from last year, and this required a mod of Quake that fixes a bunch of things and adds features.

These map compilations are filled with lots of really good work, and most maps can be played in a sitting or two. Here's what the level select map looks like.

Yang's map itself is a nice juxtaposition of abstract architecture, good level framing, and the normally creepy looking monsters of Quake


**now what?**
I'm probably going to keep browsing levels when I have time, and eventually get to making one or two myself. I've found quake is really good for bite sized FPS experiences that don't have a huge time investment, and something you can approach from a lot of different angles to appreciate.

It is VERY funny to see Quake looking so clean when my main experience of it is on DOS and Saturn. I have come to enjoy the bit I have played of the N64 version too. But like in my mind, the game is all about being as gritty and grime-y as possible. THAT is the aesthetic. I mean that and one of the best ambient soundtracks I can think of.

@robinhoodie#22767 I really liked the crunchiness of the original software rendering, I played most of Quake 1 that way.

Thanks so much for putting this together! I learned about Arcane Dimensions on a podcast not too long ago and have played through about half of it–really can‘t recommend it enough. I actually have never even played all the way through the base game of Quake, but that might finally change now that I’ve put in the effort to get it running nicely.

Resurrecting this thread because Quake had a HUGE UPDATE




[upl-image-preview url=//]

And it's FREE if you already own Quake. and it's on multiple platforms, plus a ton of other stuff I forgot

I ended up playing some net games tonight and it was the most fun I've had in a long time. The new levels by Machinegames look fantastic and I can't wait to play some more of them.

Quake was one of the game I was dying for to play when I saw it on an old dude‘s PC when I was a child, and damned I would be if this is not the game I’d play soon.

I bought the ps4 version yesterday. It’s great but quake is clearly not tuned for play with analog sticks. Even on easy the game is a challenge.

@“Syzygy”#p41114 did a quick search and it looks like keyboard and mouse are supported on PS/Xbox but the mouse aiming isn’t working properly at the moment.